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Children across the UK have struggled to access online education at home throughout the pandemic.

In Cornwall, over 1800 children don’t have access to a computer or an affordable way to get online and learn. This is despite the Department for Education providing 500 laptops to Cornish schools in January 2021.

Schools and Cornish families are working hard to keep children’s education going. Still, it isn’t always possible for many because they don’t have the equipment they need. With access to online learning increasing while access to devices worsens, there is a real risk of our young people failing to obtain the education they need to succeed in life.

Cornwall steps up

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Digital Skills Partnership (DSP) alongside Newquay-based Crowdfunder, Cornwall Council, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, Cornwall Association of Secondary Headteachers and Cornwall Association of Primary Heads have launched the Kit 4 Kids Cornwall campaign to help ensure the children of Cornwall are not left behind.

Caitlin Gould, Chair of the Digital Skills Partnership, and a director here at Bluefruit Software, explains:

“The ability for families to have laptops and access to the internet in their home will help ensure students across Cornwall aren’t left behind. It will also help parents and carers to connect with schools for critical updates, find support from local community groups and create new opportunities for family learning. It isn’t just a laptop, it’s a lifeline that can make staying home and staying safe possible.”

So how can you help?

Donate to the Kit 4 Kids Cornwall campaign today

Bluefruit Software has donated £1000 to the campaign, alongside donations from other local businesses and groups. The Kit 4 Kids Cornwall campaign aims to raise at least £75,000 to help schools get children online and learning.

With this money, schools will be able to provide laptops and data dongles to pupils to access online lessons and stay in touch with their teachers and classmates.

Every £200 raised is enough to buy a laptop for a pupil in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

If you can help support the campaign, please head on over to the Kit 4 Kids Cornwall Crowdfunder page and donate today.

Tech for the future not just the pandemic

The tech bought as a result of the campaign won’t just be used during the pandemic. The laptops and data dongles bought will help close a growing digital divide that is threatening children’s futures across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

As Frances Brennen, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Employment and Skills Board, points out:

“Digital inclusion is vital to give our young people the opportunities they deserve […]. This equipment will help deal with immediate home schooling issues, and create a legacy by bridging the digital divide for hundreds of children and their families long after the pandemic is over.

“Now more than ever we need to support families to have full access to online learning and they shouldn’t have to choose between food, heating or educating their children.”

And what happens if Kits 4 Kids makes its £75,000 goal? The campaign wants to go even further and raise £200,000, enabling Kits 4 Kids to support up to 1000 young people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The campaign is already changing children’s lives, with those who have received devices able to participate in online learning. And it could help even more.

Able to help the campaign? Please head on over to the Kit 4 Kids Cornwall Crowdfunder page and donate today.

Got tech to donate?

By the way, do you have a laptop you no longer need but would like to see have a new lease of life helping Cornish children access online learning? If yes, please contact TogetherforFamilies.COVID19@cornwall.gov.uk who will be able to coordinate your donation to a local school.

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